watch the video again, he says :
"it's not an islamic problem, it's an African problem"
"nowhere else in the Muslim majority states is FGM an issue"
do you think those statements are correct?
I believe in this case he was not making a blanket statement that it did not occur at all in ANY muslim country, but that it does not occur in ALL muslim countries, and I understood him here as referenceing turkey/indonesia as muslim majority states where FGM is not an issue.
Maybe you should try and connect with him and see if he really was "pretending" that it didn't exist in some ME countries.
His points still holds true: FGM is not an "islamic" problem - since many tribes, muslim, christian and "miscellaneous" do the practise, primarily in Africa (which is the real core of the problem and where the huge majority of all FGMs occur).
Seems like a bit of a sideshow point you're trying to score here - I am of the mind that someone like aslan deserves the benefit of the doubt when wondering if he believes something so clearly incorrect based on a quick statement in a 5 min back and forth with some cable news airheads...
Disagree. Detrimental tribal & local customs are easier to reform than religious customs (except in case where tribal & local customs have been assimilated by religion, but in those cases i'd argue they've become religious and no longer solely tribal/local)
I think there's merit to discuss all of these things together (along with education, economics & politics), but once you take religion off the table and declare it off limits you've stunted any reasonable discussion.
I would think Aslan would say focusing far too heavily on Islam, actually, is what stunts "reasonable discussion" on the vectors to horrific outcomes for women in ME countries.
Your first point is very confusing - to me it would seem tribal custom is much more difficult to erode given its success at being transmuted from religion to religion over the ages as a region undergoes change over the centuries. The religions change but the tribal customs live on... And when it comes to making a case for "islamic exceptionalism", these are rarely controlled for (along with factors like the type of government in the nation, media culture, socio economic conditions, patriarchy) and it isn't for a few reasons:
- when controlling for these factors the case for Islamic exceptionalism melts away
- The people attacking Islam in this way are not prudent social scientists trying to explain a phenomenon with careful research - frequently they are just scoring tribal points to showcase their own rightness and/or adding casus belli to a favoured military action against a predominantly muslim country.